With the #MeToo movement and the rising numbers in people affected by mental health, romance novels play a part in empowering women.
Liv Arnold is an author of color writing diverse books on real issues like mental health and consent. Like many women, she has experienced sexual harassment which has affected her wellbeing. The 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey (PSS) states almost two million Australian adults had experienced at least one sexual assault since the age of 15. In romance novels, consent must be a “hell yes” for every individual involved, regardless of the circumstances leading up to the event.
“I want to do right by my readers and show what is and is not acceptable. Enough people are silenced through shame, society’s perceptions, and sexism. There’s not enough awareness of mental health. I have found peace through prose,” Ms. Arnold says.
As she has experienced anxiety most of her life, she will donate a percentage of the profits of her upcoming novel Stepping Stone (release date 11 July 2022) to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America. She turned to writing for therapy when medication, meditation, and counselling didn’t improve her symptoms.
New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair says Stepping Stone is, “A tender, sexy, fast-paced story with a well-drawn insight into mental health. A tough subject, compassionately addressed.”
The novel’s main male character has PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Ms. Arnold drew the challenges from real life and was inspired by a friend who served in Afghanistan. She writes authentic characters with relatable issues, championing the heroine taking control of her life and sexuality.
“Arnold brings her readers on a journey of love, suspense, sexual awakening, and healing. This story pulls on the heartstrings while tackling important social issues,” says #1 New York Times bestselling author Meredith Wild.
New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner adds that Ms. Arnold, “… weaves forgiveness and self- discovery into an emotional second-chance romance you don’t want to miss.”